Perec and Benjamin visit Lübeck

Arriving with the spring, Walter Benjamin and Georges Perec decided to visit Lübeck. This city, that was before the capital of the Hanseatic League and an important commercial enclave for more than four centuries, is nowadays a sleepy conglomerate of elements where nothing seems to occur. Although Lübeck is the most prominent German port over… Continue reading Perec and Benjamin visit Lübeck

City as a laboratory

Laboratory studies (Latour & Woolgar 1979; Woolgar, 1982) is one of the main action areas in STS and as Doing (2008) indicates “(it) represents the foundation of STS.” “The accent (of this discipline) is on the in situ observation of scientific activity” (Woolgar, 1982). Knoor-Cetina (1995) points her glance on the relationship between the laboratory… Continue reading City as a laboratory

Expanding a corner in Times Square. First approach

Around seven and a half in the morning, a man dressed red is dragging a kind of metal rack with wheels around the northern part of Duffy Square. The rack contains twenty-two chairs and sixteen tables. All of them are metal painted red. He stops near the TKTS booths and starts to organize first the… Continue reading Expanding a corner in Times Square. First approach

Counterfeit cigarettes domesticating a place in Paris. Looking for dragons… (III)

The social, more than being understood as a specific domain (Latour, 2005), is presented here as both a movement and a capacity for making associations. Those associations are composed of any elements, into specific and localized networks. The social, in other words, is the generic label for talking about an action where an undetermined number… Continue reading Counterfeit cigarettes domesticating a place in Paris. Looking for dragons… (III)

Baklavas in Mauerpark

Every time I am reading, I cannot stop comparing other people's work with mine. But how I do that is paying attention to the way they are knitting their set of concepts. I always find interesting the fluency the rest of the word has for using theoretical notions. The confidence they have for naming things… Continue reading Baklavas in Mauerpark

Eyes on the street. Looking for dragons in the streets of Berlin, Paris and New York City (II)

One of the things that Paris, Berlin and New York have in common is the ability for seducing (Cochoy, 2016). Those cities, along their history, have attracted (and generated too) a tremendous heterogeneous flow of groups, ideas and processes that have transformed those places into an object of desire, but also a touristic landmark, a… Continue reading Eyes on the street. Looking for dragons in the streets of Berlin, Paris and New York City (II)

What is an urban experiment? Presenting the “Green Light for Midtown” program

In general terms, an experiment is something that you do for either validate or reject a hypothesis. That something is an organized and controlled procedure that should be able to be replicated in a similar scenario following a specific set of instructions. But experiment is not an easy concept. When we talk about doing an… Continue reading What is an urban experiment? Presenting the “Green Light for Midtown” program

Looking for dragons in the streets of Berlin, Paris and New York City (I)

At least three times per week I like to play a game that I call killing dragons. The game is based on the famous cartographic sentence Hic sunt dracones, (here be dragons) that was used into some medieval maps to make a reference to unexplored territories. The activity consists in looking at the Berlin Transportation… Continue reading Looking for dragons in the streets of Berlin, Paris and New York City (I)

Diluting Citizenship. A first approach to the Smart City concept

The vignettes of the Coca-Cola 3D Billboard and the WIFI kiosks are sharing some common elements, besides the obvious point that they can be traced in the Times Square of my piece of research. Those elements can be gathered into a context of "experimentation in urban places.” (Gieryn, 2006; Karvonen & van Heur, 2014; Silver… Continue reading Diluting Citizenship. A first approach to the Smart City concept

Working on palimpsests (I). Snapshots and stamps of the urban landscape

Palimpsest is a concept widely used from many sides for talking about the city and urban life. Andreas Huyssen used it in an attempt for linking memory, as a political subject, to spatial practices in three cities that have suffered either "major social or political traumas:" Berlin, Buenos Aires, and New York. The chapter number… Continue reading Working on palimpsests (I). Snapshots and stamps of the urban landscape